Bananas Up – A Charanda Cocktail with the Essence of Banana and Kiss of Smoke

When I developed this cocktail in 2020, I had just discovered Charanda—a sugarcane-based spirit distilled in Mexico. The bottle that I was specifically enjoying was Uruapan’s Charanda Blanco. This particular bottling is created through two distillation methods.

It is 50% column-distilled molasses and 50% copper-distilled cane juice. This unique method introduces some of the funk of a rhum agricole or even a pot-distilled Jamaican rum, while the column distillation smooths it out and introduces some sweetness. On the palate, I taste heavy notes of banana. Thus, the inspiration for this cocktail which builds on those banana notes.

Generally, cocktails that taste like banana are more of the vibrant yellow frat-style recipes, but I think that Bananas Up manages to deliver the flavor of ripe bananas with a complex symphony created from a supporting cast of ingredients that layer upon each other perfectly.

There were several iterations leading up to this final recipe, and I’d say the biggest takeaways from the process are that this drink is best served very chilled and to use a quality banana liqueur like Combier or Giffard. (It shouldn’t be yellow or taste like banana Runts) The black lemon bitters and expressed lemon peel are also crucial in this making this cocktail shine.

If you mix this one up, please let me know what you think.


Bananas Up Cocktail
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Bananas Up

A spirit-forward cocktail that features Charanda, mezcal, and banana liqueur.
Course: Cocktail
Keyword: banana, Dolin Blanc, Kirschwasser, mezcal, rum
Servings: 1
Author: Andrew (The Humble Garnish)


  • ounce Charanda Blanco (Uruapan preferred)
  • ½ ounce banana liqueur (high quality such as Combier is preferred)
  • ¼ ounce mezcal
  • ¼ ounce Dolin Blanc
  • ½ ounce kirschwasser
  • 2 dashes Scrappy's Black Lemon Bitters
  • 1 cherry (garnish)
  • 1 lemon twist (express and discard)


  • Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
  • Double strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  • Express and discard lemon twist. Garnish with cocktail cherry.

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